New Orleans Saints Mock Draft 1.0

Saints Mock Draft

The 2020 NFL Draft for the New Orleans Saints will become the most critical going forward in the next five years. The reasons are obvious. Of course, the ongoing saga of unfinished business in the postseason looms over Airline Highway. The fact of the matter is, the window is closing on the golden era of winning football under Sean Payton. With the uncertainty of Drew Brees returning and the end of expensive contracts, this draft has no room for error. So, here is the first Saints mock draft of the NFL season in 2020.

Mock Draft 1.0 for the Saints

First Saints Mock Draft Pick: Guard Shane Lemieux, Oregon

Regardless of who is taking the snaps behind Erik McCoy when September comes around, the offensive line is key to the Saints offense. Lemieux has been reliable for the Oregon Ducks for four solid years. Starting 47 consecutive games proves he is a potential lock of consistency for a team needing durable players upfront. He stands at 6-foot-4 316 pounds marveling scouts with his athleticism and mobility. The scouting experts have varying opinions on where Lemiux will ultimately land. He’s been slotted everywhere from the third round to the first. If the Saints can trade back, this pick could even be a bigger bargain. Regardless, Lemiuex is worth it late in the first round.

Third Round Pick: Cornerback Bryce Hall, Virginia

Before the season started, Bryce Hall ranked as one of the top cornerbacks by Phil Steele in his annual college football outlook. Unfortunately, Hall’s season ended early because of an ankle injury limiting the stock of being one of the top five corners coming out in 2020. Still, Hall showed off his frame of 6-foot-1 weighing in at 200 pounds. There is an instinct for players that can’t be taught. Hill is simply a natural at gauging the flight of the ball before it comes down. In 2018, he led the nation with 24 pass break ups. Also, Hill made 62 tackles with two forced fumbles and two interceptions. Hall is considered a leader on campus and is extremely smart. As a freshman he won the starting job. Hall could be a steal in the third round.



Fourth Round Pick: Wide Receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden, Liberty

The Saints always find a way to land a small-school sleeper to their draft class. There is nothing small about receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden. Gandy-Golden has got the perfect frame for the NFL. Standing at 6-foot-4 and weighing 220 pounds, the ceiling is unlimited with this prospect from Liberty. In 2019 alone, he took in 79 receptions for 1,396 yards and 10 touchdowns. For his career, 240 catches for 3,814 yards and 33 receiving touchdowns.


Obviously, the physicality is there. No fear of contact. Cornerbacks don’t stand a chance against this big bodied man. Make no mistake, teams will bring up his level of competition as being sub-par. Just remember, a player called Jerry Rice came from Mississippi Valley and he did OK. Gandy-Golden is the perfect guy to throw a jump ball to. Don’t bet against him. Needs work with separation and using his hands more on press coverage. Also, can use coaching to perfect route running. Overall though, this could open up the Saints offense big time.

Fifth Round Pick: Running Back Lemical Perine, Florida

This pick may be a bit of a surprise for Who Dat Nation. Drafting another running back is not exactly something of need. However, Lemical Perine is the exception to the rule. Actually, the chance of him sliding down this far will be unlikely but not impossible. Perine’s frame is similar to Mark Ingram at 5-foot-11 and 211 pounds. Perine did have a better year statistically in 2018 with 826 yards and seven touchdowns versus 539 yards and four scores in 2019. Contributing to the lower numbers was the transformation of Florida’s offense to a more vertical passing game.

Still, Perine improved significantly on his receiving skills. He caught 40 balls for 262 yards, and he’s tough to bring down once he’s past the line of scrimmage. Those 40 catches surpassed the three previous years. He runs north-south finding holes inside of stacked lines. Perfect guy to give the ball to get those short third down conversions. With a low center of gravity and “Superman” vision, Perine fits nicely to compliment Alvin Kamara.

Sixth Round Pick: Defensive End Nick Coe, Auburn

Nick Coe decided to forgo his senior season at Auburn and enter the NFL Draft. Coe came out of high school as a four star recruit. Coe’s ability to stuff gaps is his strength. He was used in various different areas on Auburn’s defense in 2019. No doubt, the strength to stuff runners inside and penetrate the B-Gap is the strength of his game.

Surprisingly, Coe has looked exceptional dropping into coverage at some points. His long arm frame covers plenty of ground. Doesn’t have blazing quickness on the point of attack. Needs to work on his balance. Leveraging his weight to attacking will bring accolades for him making a roster. Definitely not NFL ready coming out this year, but he’s got plenty of potential on a practice squad.

Final Saints Mock Draft – Priority Undrafted Free Agent: Quarterback Khalil Tate, Arizona

Here is one of my favorite high-reward, low-risk players in 2020. It’s in the Saints best interest to bring in a quarterback this year regardless if Drew Brees retires or not. If Taysom Hill takes over or backups Brees, the offense will surely be run totally different. If Hill truly becomes the backup quarterback, the idea of him taking hits on special teams, quarterback draws, or anything else they’d need makes no sense. So, why not get a Taysom Hill 2.0 who’s younger and willing to learn the quarterback position just like Hill. Just watch the tape.

Couple of things I want to add real quick. Some scouts will point to his low passing percentage in college. Lamar Jackson hit 54.7% in 2015, 56.2% in 2016 and 59.1% in his last season at Louisville in 2017. In 2019, Jackson took his team to a 13-2 record with a 66.1% completion rate. Also, Tate is committed to playing quarterback only. Make no mistake, if he fully commits to the position, look out!

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